June 29, 2009

Jersey Boys National Tour ROCKS Raleigh!

June 29th, 2009

Jersey Boys LogoArea critics are raving about the JERSEY BOYS national tour in Raleigh! Check these out!

Roy C. Dicks of NewsObserver.com praises the highly polished national tour. Those of a certain age who count the singular sound of the Four Seasons as part of their dating/mating rituals (and they filled Memorial Auditorium on Friday night) will get their money’s worth from these first-rate voices, led by Joseph Leo Bwarie’s laser-beam falsetto as Frankie Valli (Graham Fenton plays Valli matinees and Sunday evenings). Bwarie’s confident, stratospheric stylings in “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry” and “Walk Like A Man” are not mechanically imitated but vibrantly thrilling on their own. And when he finishes his tender rendition of “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” his humble reaction to the mid-act standing ovation seems movingly genuine.

That’s not to say he shoulders the show alone. Josh Franklin as Bob Gaudio, the hit-making songwriter of the group, matches Bwarie in confidence and vocal talent (especially in his solo turn in “Oh What a Night”) and offers a winning stage presence. Matt Bailey’s Tommy DeVito and Steve Gouveia’s Nick Massi round out the quartet, infusing the foursome’s numbers with foot-tapping zing (and causing a lot of involuntary sing-alongs throughout the evening).

The crisp musical accompaniment, from onstage guitars, drums and brass to the additional instruments off stage (all honed to perfection by conductor Andrew Wilder) gives the show an undeniably rousing power.

Triangle Arts and Entertainment: Broadway Series South and the team led by Jim Lavery have outdone themselves once again, bringing to Raleigh a production that exceeds any found on Broadway! Jersey Boys traces the formation and rise to popularity of The Four Seasons, linking all the greatest hits you love to hear into a real story of music, friendship, love, hard times, and what it means to “come up together from the neighborhood.”

The show includes 33 songs of The Four Seasons, including “Earth Angel,” “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night).” Joseph Leo Bwarie (Frankie) lights up the stage with his impeccable voice, topping the original Frankie Valli. He is backed up by an energetic and multi-talented cast – who sing, act, dance, and yes – play their own instruments! (One cast member mentioned playing the guitar was a big part of the audition.) It is clear they love what they do, and the audiences love them for it.

1 Comment »

  1. We went on Saturday afternoon. All I can say is WOW
    What a show . I saw the original Tony award winning group in NYC and let me tell you, this group was every bit as good. If you only saw the play one time you really have to go back for a second and possibly a third look. There was so much I missed the first time I thought I was watching another version. As my wife explained, it was the excitement of NYC and the fact that my favorite group was finally getting their well deserved due that I probably missed half the show because of the smile that was plastered on my face that night. It was great to see the people on their feet when some of the BIG songs came on, dancing , clapping, just having a great time and as I am sure you have heard before, we were for that brief time transported back into a time when things were so much more fun.
    Thanks guys, great show. I might have to go one more time before you travel on.

    Comment by Bob Nelson — June 30, 2009 @ 6:44 am

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